Sermon March 22, 2020

Sermon Lent 4A A New Normal? Page 1

Grace and peace to you from our God our Father and our Lord Jesus. Amen.

Some people are anxiously wondering when or if life will return to ‘normal.’ If not, then what will the ‘new normal’ be?

I am glad you joined me to worship this morning even though not our usual experience of Sunday morning worship. I am working to keep to a degree some semblance of familiar routine for myself and you by still worshipping on Sunday mornings. I did sleep in an extra hour and half otherwise redrafting my thoughts to share and other Sunday routines go forward. Strange feeling not to have my clergy shirt and collar on! I wonder if Monday morning will feel like a Monday morning or will I be disorientated as to what day of the week it is?

There is the story in our gospel reading of a man born blind. All his life from birth into adulthood he lived in his ‘normal’ dark world where he is condemned as being born ‘entirely in sins’ thus for life being punished by God, and reduced to having life as a beggar dependent on the pity of others.

This was the normal routine for the blind man and the perception of most everyone else, not only the Pharisees but even the disciples, had this usual perception with a judging understanding of those being born blind. ‘Not since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.(v.32) That was the normal then.

Then Jesus comes along. Out with the ‘normal’ perceptions of life and death and enter God’s grace.

As wondrous as the new is it can be difficult to adjust to the new.

For the blind man was joy and wonderment to see Jesus and to him, a new world. He saw and believed and worshipped and witnessed the Son of Man Jesus. This was his new ‘normal.’

For the Pharisees, it was denial of the new changes. Not even miracles were going to change their minds about how things were to be. Deny Jesus, deny the blind man’s healing, and get back to my normal world.

Sermon Lent 4A A New Normal? Page 2

There are some who deny sin or the existence of viruses. It is all a government conspiracy to control our lives. Oh, and the earth is still flat and we have never been to the moon! For many, denial and fears serve as an effort to protect the old ‘normal.’

I would guess that to a large extent we will be able to return to much familiar routine and life situation after the Covid19 pandemic settles down. But not completely. There will be a new ‘normal.’ And furthermore, that for at least some of the change, I will be glad to see.

For us, as those who once were blind but now see, we see God routinely is in our muddy lives. We see God in Jesus declaring God’s love and mercy. We see God giving us light to see how we may witness to the world the washing away of sin and mud and bring spiritual healing. We see viral sin is conquered not by modern medicine or philosophies of the mind but by the Holy Spirit washing us with forgiveness and with power that no earthly power can stand against.

There will be some changes for a ‘new normal’ but our unchanged normal includes such things as knowing Jesus is the Messiah, I was blind, now I see(v.25b), we will work to serve God with merciful compassion(‘as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord, and our joy is in the Lord.

There is more about our faith lives that will continue ‘normal.’ But once you encounter Jesus it is wonderfully hard to imagine anything remaining the same.

God bless you as you see God with us through these times. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 
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